Nanoscribe GmbH, together with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), specifically its Institute of Nanotechnology (INT) and Innovation Management department, were awarded the Technology Transfer Prize of the DPG (German Physics Association) for successfully transferring research findings into economically successful and useful products.
Nanoscribe, a spin-off of KIT, generated sales in the double-digit millions in 2017 with its high-resolution laser lithography 3D printers for nano- and micromanufacturing.
In 3D laser lithography, a computer-controlled laser focus cures structures within a photoresist whose smallest features measure less than a thousandth of a millimeter. The technology is capable of printing highly stable materials out of miniature trusses, minute and precise optical micro-lenses, diffractive optics, as well as scaffolds for growing cells in environments that closely imitate the human body.
Emerging applications, rapidly becoming reality, include printed micromachines for transporting immotile – but otherwise healthy – sperm, focusing objectives no wider than a human hair on the tip of glass fibers for minimally invasive endoscopy, and even optical cloaking devices.